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Louisiana News

Truck Driver Shortage Could Hurt Consumers' Pocketbooks

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The nation faces a truck driver shortage, and that could hurt your pocketbook. The American Trucking Association says they expect to see a 106,000 driver shortage by 2022. Louisiana Motor Transport Association Executive Director Chance McNeely says it’s resulting in longer delivery times and higher prices for consumers.

 

McNeely says, "Loads have to wait. It takes longer for goods to get to their desired locations, and it drives up the cost of goods. It's a major challenge for the industry."

 

The industry is facing a unique problem in that as the economy expands, more shipping is needed, but McNeely says the number of drivers appears to be dropping, just as demand has begun increasing.

 

McNeely says, "Our drivers are aging. The average age of our drivers is reaching around 60 years old, and it's going to get worse." 

 

Trucking doesn’t seem to have the same pull it used to. McNeely says average pay sits between 40 to 50 thousand, depending on the job, but one regulation in particular is keep young people from considering the industry.

 

McNeely says, "You get out of high school at 18 or 19 years old, but you can't get your CDL (Certified Driver's License) until you're 21. Most people have already chosen a career path by the time they're 21." 

 

In an example of the problems caused by the driver shortage: Tyson Foods blamed the 200 million dollars in new costs that they’ve passed to retailers on the shipping industries struggles.